Category Archives: WP Weekly Photo Challenge

Go Vibrant for Valentine’s Day

In the Central Valley, spring is the most vibrant time, not only visually, but the way things smell as well.  Summer and fall are hazy, Winter is foggy or rainy.

Red screams vibrant to me . Here are some beautiful examples of vibrant colors from the Bravo Lake Botanical Gardens. Their vibrant fragrances fill the air.  Brought inside a small enclosed room, like my office at work, the scent almost overpowers me. But in the dining room, they perfume the entire house.Salmon/yellow/red/orange take your pick.Even the leaves are vibrant.This ain't no violet! Put on your most winning smile showing off your vibrant personality, and voila – your sweetie shows up with this. Sweet smells compliment vibrant colors,  Vibrant desertI smell the rich aroma of cup of French Vanilla coffee to go with this treat, don’t you? Put all these together and you see my dream Vibrant Valentine’s treat.

For more vibrant pictures, click the icon below.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

Alphabet Photo Challenge

Alphabets ruled my life when I taught kindergarten. We had multiple pictures for every letter, and they dominated the decor. Letters are so prevalent in the decor of our lives today, I think I look past and through them now … unless they make me laugh!

Alphabet

Teachers are so accustomed to reading upside down, that sometimes they forget that they can actually read right-side up.

Alphabet2

This must have been a page turner, and the reader couldn’t be bothered with directionality.

Alphabet3

Sometimes it’s important to read ahead to learn about where you are going so that you don’t miss the things you might really enjoy.

Alphabet4

Or you can read signs and wing it.

“Of course, I’m hungry. Let’s stop here!”

Speaking of reading, thanks Paula Terrill for telling me that you read all my posts, even if you don’t comment. It’s nice to know!  :) I write to be read. Don’t you?

For more thoughts about alphabets check out the Weekly Photo Challenge here.

I participate in WordPress' Weekly Photo Challenge 2016
I participate in WordPress’ Weekly Photo Challenge 2016

 

Weekly Photo Challenge: Weight or Weightlessness

What an appropriate topic for this week’s Photo Challenge. I don’t think much about being weightless, but I do think a lot about weight.  I am not alone in that. The most popular New Year’s Resolution in the world is weight loss.  Let it be known that I’m resolving right this second to lose weight. (Whew, glad that’s over!)

In our small town of Woodlake, California, the Kiwanis Club hosts a “Run for Hunger” event every April. Those of us who have plenty of food, lots of energy, and maybe a bit more weight than we want or need pay to run three miles around Bravo Lake to raise money to buy food to stock the Woodlake Food Pantry for those who don’t have enough food to eat.

Weight

Most of the contestants are fit. Kiwanis feeds them a pancake breakfast after they finish. No one ever turns it down!  This quest for weight watching and keeping in shape begins early here in Woodlake, and is quite well dressed, wouldn’t you agree?

Weight2

The idea of watching our weight is episodic worldwide. We engage in long never-ending periods of various exercises,

Weight 3

trying to remove the effects of depositing morsels of tastiness which take so little time to consume.

Weight4

The trainer we had on our vacation in Hawaii suggested that the only way to lose weight is to pay attention to what we put into our mouths.

I was hoping there was another way, weren’t you?

Click here to see what other people have to share about weight and weightlessness.

Oops- We Waited One Day Too Long to Trade in Our Car: Eulogy to a Prius

We named her Pris. She was my baby for nine years, and we went everywhere together. She is my subject for this week’s WP Photo Challenge, Oops.

Pris1
See how glazed over her eyes are?

When her heart ruptured, I rushed her to the hospital and she underwent expensive heart replacement (hybrid battery) surgery, and we brought her home. Within just a few months she had another major attack, this time of her central nervous system (touch screen computer system). We took her back to the hospital, and the surgeons told us it would be $1,800 to put her back together correctly. I told Pris that was too much. She was not happy with me.

Her circulatory system was most affected by her central nerve damage. If she was cold we could press on the top of the screen to turn on the front and rear defroster even though the touchscreen buttons were on the bottom of the screen. If she had a hot flash, we could turn down the temperature of the air conditioner on the steering wheel, but her fan automatically came on full blast. (A real oops!) If we got tired of listening to her fan, we could turn it down by turning up the temperature on the steering wheel. That is not a problem in the winter, but when the outside temperature is 110 and her internal temperature is 130… (oops again)

We looked at cars for several weeks while Pris continued to limp along.  She tried to tell us the end was near. She dropped her rear view mirror and left it dangling by its cord. Vince stuck it back on. She complained because it was loose and it rubbed her windshield every time I hit a bump, but I ignored her complaining. She got in a little accident when someone backed into her at a stop sign – or she snuck up to kiss the car. We weren’t sure which, but she had to have plastic surgery. Even with insurance her face lift cost us $500. She showed wear around the door where her insulation started to sag. I told Vince I wasn’t paying for any more plastic surgery. One minute Vince could live with her for a few more months. At other times I could. Both of us should have known better.

Meanwhile Pris got sicker and sicker. One day she turned on her red triangle with the flashing exclamation point. She had leaked out all her oil in 1,000 miles. She was on a 3,000-mile checkup instead of 5,000 miles after her heart surgery. Vince filled her with expensive oil, and she felt better. She turned off her red triangle. He took her to have her oil changed about 500 miles later. Friday, she told us she would not go one mile farther, and she turned on her red triangle again. A sign appeared on her touchscreen to put her into park.

Vince and I finally HAD to agree on a car to replace Pris.  You can read about that in  a earlier post. I could afford something at the Corolla level.  I can’t tell you what he said about the Corolla because his son is proud of his. Vince told me I should get a Cruze when Pris started with her second episode. I could afford that without any help from him. Although I had drug my feet, I finally decided that a Chevy Cruze would work. We bought it after the shortest test drive in history. Vince wouldn’t even go along. He wanted to get on the way to go our Audi appointment, but  almost any car he liked and some he didn’t – an Audi, , ATS, Fusion, or Volt would need his financial help.  He wanted a Porsche, and that required all my contribution and then some. So he quickly agreed to the Cruze.

no name Chevy Cruze

We brought Pris’s replacement home Friday, No name Chevy Cruze. Pris looked forlorn, but if Friday was sad, Saturday was worse. The dealer gave us $700 in trade for Pris – dead or alive.  Vince drove her onto the tow truck. I couldn’t watch, but he took these pictures.

Pris 3 cr

Then she drove away for the last time. The mailbox looks like her cross.  She still looks good for her age – 9.5 years. Bye bye Pris. You were a good girl, and I love you. RIP

Pris 2 cr

For more mistakes aka “WP Photo Challenge – Oops” click here.

WP Photo Challenge Eye Spy

Frank Lloyd Wright kept odd hours often working in the middle of the night and catching a cat nap during the day.  He had a code so that his architectural students knew when they could approach him. If they spied him sleeping on the bed nearest his desk, they could approach and ask him a question.

If they looked in the window and spied him sleeping on the other bed. Eye y eye, they knew they had better stay out.  

I found it difficult to spy the bed with all the reflections.  

His wife’s open room allowed students to spy on her easily.

I hope you enjoyed spying on the very private life of America’s most famous and controversial architect and his fourth wife.

For more spy stories click here.

Word Press Photo Challenge: Treat

It’s a treat to thrash Bob — hard!

Bopping Bob.
Bopping Bob.

In only two months I’ve gotten so much better at it. When I started fighting Bob, I could barely tap him in the chest for 15 seconds. Now I can beat on him for a minute without being out of breath. (OK I exaggerate a LITTLE.)

I’ve learned to sock him in the solar plexus.

Watch out, Bob!
Watch out, Bob!

I can back arm him and thoroughly box his ears.

Two months ago my husband and I began training with our best friend’s daughter, Melissa, a five foot two powerhouse who has competed successfully in at least one national fitness competition. When we started I couldn’t plank, not for a second. Now I can hold still, not without a lot of groaning, for at least 30 seconds after doing two rounds of other serious exercises.

Melissa and her friend, Bob

Some things I still can’t do. While V is doing serious pull-ups, I’m stretching trying to hang from a bar without pulling anything up. I still have to have my tippy toes on the ground, though, and even that hurts. the other day I stretched out with my feet on the ball and my hands clenching a couple of hanging rings. I swear I lifted my body about an eighth of an inch. I was so proud I called over to Melissa to watch.

But put me behind a pair of rope handles, and I can drive those ropes into submission. Melissa tells V to watch my great form. I am so proud.

So what does all this violence do for our bodies? Melissa says our core will get stronger. So far I have only gained weight – about 4-5 pounds. My clothes still fit , and my body still looks roly poly in the mid-section, but I’m definitely able to do more harm to Bob that I ever thought possible, and that’s a treat!

BTW, I thought Melissa named Bob after her dad, but everyone on YouTube seems to call him Bob, and here I thought I was pounding “Bob,” (which I would never have dared in real life!)  :)

For more treats click here.

The Deliberate Blur: Retirement?

We looked forward to our vacation in Sedona for weeks, and we’ve already been home for two days.  What happened?

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Sights seemed clear enough when we were there. We stopped at a wonderful museum in Kingman even though this lady view us with some distrust.  Maybe her vision was blurred.

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If you are at the Route 66 Museum, and you like old-fashioned milkshakes and malts you should go across the street to Mr. Dz. Yelp provided this picture, so I’m a bit blurry on the name details.

Mr DzWe spent the first and last night in Laughlin, so we met ourselves coming and going. It was beautiful on the way, but by the way back, the blurry air smeared the town’s beauty.  So enjoy the first glimpse.

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We visited a park called Slide Rock on the way home that may have been the most beautiful place in the world. In 1912 a man named Frank Pandry homesteaded it and grew apples.

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It’s heyday came and went in a blur, but artifacts remain. It’s definitely worth a visit.

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The red blur at the bottom explains how the place got its name. Kids and adults alike still enjoyed the slippery rocks.

2015 Sedona184Bees still enjoyed sniffing the black apple blossoms. I had never heard of black apples.

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Can you imagine a finer setting for an apple orchard?

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For more blurry pictures click here.

Organizing – a Fresh Start or the Kiss of Death?

It’s spring, time for a fresh startTC Iris Festival

Spring gives me clutterphobia.  In the spring, after a winter of projects, clutter creeps up on me like the consequences of a young female kitty with outdoor privileges. Oops, where did this come from? Unfortunately, having clutterphobia means I must make life and death decisions about MY valuable STUFF.

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I remember my grandmother hanging dresses on top of dresses on her bedroom and closet doors and every other door that would open because her closet, chests of drawers, three car garage – that housed Grandpa’s business and Grandma’s clutter – and full basement weren’t large enough to hold her favorite things.

I don’t want to be like Grandma, but I admit that I don’t notice clutter when I’m slaving madly in some pet project. If I have enough drawers, boxes, shelves, table tops or containers I can shove it into or stack it neatly when company comes, I’m happy. But sometimes I have to stop, and make a fresh start. Like when Vincie says, “We’re starting a new project. You’ve got to move everything out of here!”

We're also remodeling our bathroom. Yikes!
We’re also remodeling our bathroom. Yikes!

 

During intense periods of work, my house fills from the inside out. I go to a conference and bring home freebies and purchased books that I couldn’t resist, and I’m too busy to deal with it. If Vince or I can’t find gloves, make-up, pair of glasses, jewelry, bowls, hammers, flashlights, we buy cheap replacements. The longer I let it go, the less space I have to walk around in my house, and suddenly the clutter hits me like an infestation of cockroaches. I need a fresh start. But how?

My enormous collection of handmade or inexpensive jewelry.

My enormous collection of handmade or inexpensive jewelry.

Organize it and put it somewhere safe

Eventually I complete or tire of my messy project or collection, but I still can’t bear to part with the stuff.

Organize it and put it somewhere safe.  :)
 I’m sure I’ll be wearing that stuff sometime soon! :)

I start a new job April 1. I’ll tell you about it after it’s publicly announced, but I’m cleaning and organizing my house to get ready for a fresh new project!

My 5th trip to Goodwill in the last three weeks. (Since I haven't been blogging!  :)
I’m ready for my 5th trip to Goodwill in the last three weeks, since I haven’t been blogging! :)

This past week I’ve also been organizing my computer into external drives and getting things off about ten different cloud drives that slowed my poor little Apple down to a crawl to give it a fresh start. (It still has an arthritic drive, and takes longer to get going than my grandpa used to take getting out of his recliner.)

I’ve spent two days freshening up my CCSS and SJVCSS files, and moving them to a Google Drive so a new volunteer will be able to find things they might need. Without files, there is no institutional memory. An organization for social studies – history, geography, economics and government teachers – better have some institutional memory. We don’t even have a historian in either group.  Yikes. But I have ORGANIZED files.

The SJVCSS website needed a fresh start, too.  I destroyed the home page accidentally. That’s one of the hazards of cleaning I forgot to mention – destruction. My mother was a clutterbug. When I was 10, she had to spend a week in the hospital. My dad decided that he would organize and clean everything. He even took the dresser pulls off the dresser and soaked them in solution that ate off the finish instead of the fingerprints.  Now I’ve turned into my dad.

We’re hiring an expert to start afresh with a new website that it won’t wilt when a little Miss Sunshine decides to organize and freshen it up a bit.  In my defense, it needed organizing. the Latest News and Twitter Posts showing on the homepage were dated May, 2012, and newer posts existed.

My lost manuscript

One positive note to cleaning the clutter before I must leave you. Over twenty years ago I wrote a book during summer break. I stored it on big floppy disks, (LOL if you remember those!)  but I also had a printed copy of it that I couldn’t find anywhere. I found it last night. It’s like finding an old friend. I have it sitting next to my computer where I can look down and smile at it and put my coffee cup on it for a few days until I have to find a new place for it. It’s about 250 pages clipped neatly onto an old brown clipboard. I doubt that I will retype it any time soon. BUT IT’S NOT CLUTTER … is it?

For more ideas about Freshness, check out the WP Daily Post.

Reward: What Does It Mean To Me?

I think accomplishments reward me.

2015 ride home126Frankly there is no reward great enough to recompense a person for the amount of effort they put into a project.  For example, why blog? Is it because someone rewards you? Of course not. Most of us blog to communicate with the world, to share what’s happening that’s important to us. My last blog told the story of  Bob’s old barn, I fell in love with it just in time – it’s coming down. It was rewarding to take pictures and tell the story.

2015 Hengst Barn106I took the picture below of this same path Saturday on my way home from Visalia. It has changed. History is all about change. Today it looks like this.

2015 ride home128This crane cleared out olive trees, and the barn will come down soon to make way for a new field of fruit trees.

Today I met with a friend, Laile Di Silvestro, today who is helping me heal a sick and injured website for San Joaquin Valley Council for the Social Studies. My reward for the three and a half hours that we labored is a website that works a little better, a closer relationship with a talented and generous person, and –  totally unrelated, but I’m counting it as a reward – beautiful weather giving me scenery to photograph.

2015 ride home110Seriously, you’d think it was mid-summer in Montana to look at that sky. It’s a bit chilly, but not enough to deter anyone. We’ve all been praying for rain. That would be a reward.

2015 ride home105A few of these clouds rewarded us with a light drizzle, but not much rain. Most of our water comes from wells pumped from underground aquifers or nearby irrigations ditches.

 

2015 ride home104These pumps may not look beautiful, but water is a huge reward.

2015 ride home106

And we are rewarded by food, not only for us but for the cows that provide one of my favorite foods – cheese. Tulare County is one of the largest dairy producing counties in the world. We probably have more cows here than we have people. Most of them live near Visalia and Hanford in large dairies of up to 5,000 cows. Talk about a lot of work. If you don’t like cheese, it might not seem like such a great reward, but I love it.

2015 ride home119This is the dairy I used to pass everyday on my way to and from work.

2015 ride home117Those cows probably aren’t praying for rain, but I’m guessing that the people who live in this house on that dairy farm are.  I hope they get their reward. :)

 

For more entries about rewards click here.

 

 

Photo Challenge: Rule of Thirds

Rule of thirds challenges me unless I have a 9 grid overlaying the photo or viewfinder.  Since I’ve never seen a viewfinder like that, I confess that these shots became rule of thirds after the camera lens had long since left the scene.

A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand.
A bird in the bush is worth two in the hand. You wouldn’t want this bird in your hand at any price.

These shots look a little cloudy because dense fog covered the Woodlake Valley floor the day I took them.  I should have had my portrait done out-of-doors that day. This woodpecker may have had trouble finding his worm.  I prefer that he pecks at the ground instead of burying his acorns in my roof or pecking my siding.

Cross-Eyed Kitty hasn't lost the instince of hunting.
Cross-Eyed Kitty hasn’t lost the instinct of hunting.

Out to help me keep my yard bird-free, Cross-Eyed Kitty looks like a fierce hunter.  In reality, this beautiful old feral cat heard me, and came running so I could take him over to my house to eat from Mama and Scardy’s bowl.

Cross-Eyed Kitty poses.
Cross-Eyed Kitty poses.

We know he’s at least fourteen years old, but he may be a lot older. He looks great, but pick him up, and he’s all hair and bones.  He has the most beautiful blue eyes.

Rule of Thirds8

Cross-Eyed Kitty never acted feral.  As soon as he comes near, he rolls over for a rub.  I did not edit this photo as CEK took up exactly two-thirds of the picture if you don’t count his tail, which blends into the ground anyway.

peach blossom
peach blossom

Back home again after rescuing CEK from a hard hunting trip, I walked around the yard admiring the new blooms on the peach trees.  Woodlake Valley boasts hundreds, no thousands, of peach trees which grow in large orchards with military-perfect straight lines. Pink and white blossoms make this valley fit for a  spring festival. My husband’s sinuses do not agree.

Everything's peachy keen with TC History Gal.
Everything’s peachy keen with TC History Gal.

For more Rule of Thirds pictures click the WP icon.

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Photo Challenge: Scale

desk messiness scale

On a scale of 1 to 10 with ten being the most organized and 1 being piled to the ceiling with recipes and newspaper clippings,  I would give my writing area a 4. It took over 500 words to list all the things on the desk.

On a scale of 1 to 10 of how interesting this information is with 10 being information  you want to go share with 947 of your closest Facebook friends, and 1 being you would kill yourself before you ever mentioned this to anyone, I would give this subject matter a 2. Trust me, nothing is worth killing yourself, not that I’ve ever tried it. If I was going to try to commit suicide, a messy desk would not rate even a 0 on a 1 to 10 scale and a post about it would rate even lower than that.

writing, blogging, book reviews, New_Office04

Nonetheless, I rate my desk/table very high on the likeability scale for several reasons. First and last, as you can see, I like to spread out when I write or study. A normal to large desk does not allow for me to pile up enough stuff that I can’t read all at the same time. I get a lot of comfort distraction from having papers all over the place when I write. Generally, when I’m writing, there is something I don’t know. So if I have my research right beside me, I can thumb through it and find the facts I need fairly quickly. If I have a tiny desk, notes and copies of articles end up on the floor. Soon I crawl around on the floor reading one article after another on my hands and knees.

desk chair

On a scale of 1 to 10  grading for reading comfort level, the hands and knees position is a 0 and my desk is an 8. The only reason my desk is an 8 and not a 10 is because it is too high, and I can’t figure out how the lever works on my chair to raise it.

Raising the chair should be easy, but on a scale of 1 to 10 my chair is a 1.  It is much easier to go into the bedroom and get a pillow and put it on the seat. My dog likes that better because if she had a choice of places to lie down, she always chooses the place with a pillow.

Kalev’s Scale

no pillow                                                                             pillow

______________________________________________________

1                                                                                                        10

You are welcome to rate my desk yourself on whatever scale you dream up. Better yet, rate your own desk. Or write about scale in a different way. In the Central Valley of California scale is a dirty word because a critter that lives on oranges is called scale.

my favorite skylight/plant shot
my favorite skylight/plant shot

I apologise that this post has nothing to do with showing scale in a photograph, or at least I didn’t pick that out.  Maybe you will find something scaly about this post, and if so, please feel free to comment.  If you read this to be inspired about what to post, then you might want to keep looking.

Here are some other ideas to inspire you.

 

WP Photo Challenge: Yellow

Yellow seems to creep into every picture even when I don’t focus on it.  I looked for a folder that might show a lot of yellow where one might not expect it.  I first opened “Market Research.”  In this photo trip, I explored what sold books.  Compare the picture with more yellow.  What do you think?

Yellow 1RT
With

 

with less
with less

I actually could not find a bookcase with NO yellow.  Yellow makes the other colors pop.  Which book in the next bookcase draws your attention?  Which ones would you choose to read looking at the cover?  What about if you just looked at the spine?

Yellow 3

Yellow needs another color to offset it, but a bit of yellow goes a long way, wouldn’t you say?  The book I remember reading from this entire post – 9 months later is The Dark.

For more choices click the WP icon

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Twinkle

The six million dollar photo that sold recently captured the perfect twinkle of light and processed it beautifully. These are my $1.00 twinkles taken with my iPhone last year at the NCSS Conference in St. Louis and their different processes.

Twinkle1

First I cropped it to help it adhere to the thirds rule.

Stylized with Glowing Edges
Stylized with Glowing Edges

Then I added filters.   I thought this one was pretty cool because it took it from real and somewhat blurry to on-purpose blurry with some sharp edges.

Filter:  Stylized - Solarized
Filter: Stylized – Solarized

I solarized Twinkle 3, and I like the rainbow of colors.

Distortion:  Glass
Distortion: Glass

Twinkle 4 reminds me of driving through St. Louis with my dad when

rain pelted the windshield unfettered by wipers.  I’m not sure why we lived through that ride.

I actually thought they turned out well considering the beginning photo.  Mr. Snowman, however, reflects my best camera’s capabilities (before I dropped it) – and mine too, for that matter.

SFW Christmas 2012004RT

Mr. Snowman posed beautifully on our tree last year.  Here he poses pretending he is outside in the snow instead of our cozy cottage.  He came back shivering, though.

Filter:  Stylize:  Find Edges
Filter: Stylize: Find Edges

He tried on the Glowing Edges next, and liked the look when he preened in the mirror, and asked for one more make-over.

Fliter: Stylized: Glowing Edges
Fliter: Stylized: Glowing Edges

I threw him into the texturizer, and he came out immortalized as a stained glass window.

Texture: Stained Glass
Texture: Stained Glass

With a twinkle in his eye he asked me to find out from you which of his pictures you like best.  :)  I’ll be sure to tell him.  He’s got his eye on me from the tree in the living room.  :)  He thinks he’d make a good Christmas card.  What do you think?  :)

For more great Twinkle pictures click the icon below

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Angular: the Daily Post Photo Challenge

I examined 12 posts before I wrote this.  I don’t usually do that, but I needed inspiration.  I smiled at this favorite .  You have to look past the obvious angle to see the real angle, and wonder where the photographer stood to shoot this single picture post.

Angular1CRT

Angles are easy to find in the city, but what about in the country?  I checked out some of my most recent Woodlake pictures for you from my folder of Buttes and Bridges, and found more angles than I expected.  I love this one because it looks like Jack’s steel beanstalk disappearing into the sky climbing to an unknown giant’s castle.

Actually, the power company decided that detouring the installation of these monstrosities into the country served the better good that marching them up the straight path along a freeway.  Not everyone agreed with that angle of thought, but there were fewer voters to object in the sparsely populated areas.

What’s your angle?  Here is the key to others that I liked.

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Word Press Photo Challenge: Achievement – Zoom Zoom

This isn't Alex, and yes, I really did this, but next to last place is not an achievement I'm proud of.
This isn’t Alex,or me, but yes, I really did this.  However, last place is not my proud achievement.

I achieved something today.  I overcame an annoyance that, for many months, demolished my joy in blogging.  To you bucket list – high achievers, I hope this post won’t destroy what little respect you might have for me when you see how little it takes to make me feel successful.  To Alex Gustafson thank you for showing me the way to success.

Achievement Zoom zoom 1
This may not look annoying. It didn’t to Alex.  But, believe me, it was!

 

So the problem was, my font got too big for its britches on my dashboard.  It took a scroll just to see my stats!

Achievement Zoom Zoom 2

When it came time to post, I felt dyslectic trying to read the names of my former posts.  Even Ed—————- …it was on two lines!  Alex said everything looked normal to him.  Hmmmm… Right…

“Try adjusting the settings on your web browser,” he told me, and gave me a link.  That’s link, not wink!   https://support.google.com/chrome/answer/96810?hl=en

So I gave it a try.

Achievement Zoom Zoom 3T

Don’t you wish that the buttons they tell you to select had a big sign on them like this???  At any rate, I felt very intelligent that I was able to find all the buttons in the article.  And it worked.  My browser was the culprit all along, and now I know how to fix it if poltergeists every come in and switch it again!

Achievement Zoom zoom 4B

So what underwhelming achievement have you accomplished recently?  Make me feel better, and I won’t tell you the struggle I had putting a border (simple, simple) on this last bit of media.  Poltergeists, I tell you!  :)

Wait for it!  Wait ....  She's coming...  Keep waiting...
Wait for it! Wait …. She’s coming… Keep waiting…

For more stunning achievements click on the WP icon.

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WP Photo Challenge: Refracted Light

The underground gardens in Fresno gives shows off refracting to the maximum.  This hand dug castle took years to create, and served it owner as a garden as well as a home.

IMG_0340

His guests could drive right in.  We had to park on the street with the rest of the tourists!

Forestiere Underground Gardens

You can imagine how much the trees loved this filtered light.

IMG_0447R

If I’m down, I just need to look at this next picture to feel up again. My brother took this picture at Navy Pier in Chicago when we traveled for his birthday last October.

Ferris wheelR

For more ideas on refraction click the image below.

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WordPress Photo Challenge: Adventure

You probably heard your grandparents say, “Every day just waking up is an adventure.”  It’s true.  Each day is what we make it, and adventure arrives in ordinary packages.  So think about the adventures that await you as you get out of bed.

Adventure 2

Transportation allows us to seek adventure.  It might by boat, plane, or rail.  We may expect our adventure to start happening once we get where we are going.

Adventure 3

Sometimes just getting to the location is the adventure.  While I was driving in my car on the way to Oakland this weekend for an adventurous CCSS meeting,  I was not 5 minutes from my house when adventure popped up out of no where.   I was driving down a two lane state highway going 60 miles an hour (I know! I know!) when the car in front of me slowed, and moved to the right shoulder.   Staring me in the face, a car going the other direction raced towards me driving at least as fast as I was.  My heart beat faster than normal as I quickly pulled over as far as I could.  My tires skidded in the dirt.  Fortunately the car heading toward us must have finished sending his text, and realized the error of his way.  My adventure ended safely when the wanderer jerked back into his own lane !

Adventure1

This driver and his horse brave the hazards on the road with little protection but this little red sign on the back of the wagon as they drive the windy back roads and narrow town streets of Pennsylvania.

 

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Sometimes the adventure lies in chance meetings.  Hal and I walked up a rustic street in New Castle, DE admiring the old houses, when out walked this gentleman.  I asked him if he owned the house.  As it turned out he owned half the town, and had lots to tell us.  It was a mini history lesson and a great adventure.

Don't bother me, Mom.  I'm dreaming of my next adventure."
Don’t bother me, Mom. I’m dreaming of my next adventure.”

Adventure is everywhere around you, but mostly it is in your attitude about life, and your ability to relay a sense of excitement.  Get up.  Find your adventure, and tell us about it .  Read about more adventures by clicking the icon below.

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WP Weekly Photo Challenge: Dialogue

Talkative Marsha struggling with dialogue?  In this case what I think the creator of this challenge wanted us to catch is a bit of fashion designing with our pictures rather than strict dialogue – odd things that sort of go together because of color or texture similarities or differences.  They just work.  I like fashion and decorating, so I wanted to pursue that angle.

First, I started with dialogue in a more literal sense.  Puppy Girl dialogued very clearly with Vince.  He worked on the computer, when clearly he could have chosen to pet her tummy.  So she grabs his hand and pulls.

PG and Pie

It’s endearing, but altogether annoying to him when he has an offer to submit.  Generally she wins.

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Next I considered animals dialoguing with each other, and establishing their pecking order.  The queen here stands alone not deigning to even look at her lowly subject.  No worries, the subject, like the jester, simply enjoys the ride, laughs at the queen behind her back, and moves on, untroubled by the queen’s weighty problems.

Mike and statue

When I took this next picture, I looked at the sculpture, then Mike walked up.  Back and forth I looked at one then the other until dizziness made me shout, “Stop Mike!  Is that statue YOU?  Let me photograph the two of you together.”   Mike obliged.   I think it was the cheeks that spoke, but maybe it was the mustache. What do you think?

Then I thought about art work I had seen in which many pictures placed together made a collage that spoke as one picture.  When I see them, I think, that would be easy.  How can you call that art?  But since I can’t draw very well, my pictures kept their mouths closed, uncommunicatively.  Then I remembered the grapes leaves I photographed last fall.  As I moused through them, they started speaking.  All at the same time, “Pick me, pick me. I want to go in the picture.” So I created a collage.

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Then another.

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Finally I remembered the Woodlake Botanical Gardens.  I missed the show this year, but last year I happened to walk around Bravo Lake on the day that all the roses decided to bloom their brightest blooms.  One of them said, “I am the beautiful one, take my picture.”  So I did.  Another  group of roses playing and giggling together attracted me.  The last rose said nothing.  She turned her face to the sun and spoke to God asking nothing more than to be a blessing to others. I thought she was the prettiest of all.

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If you enjoyed these take a gander at how other bloggers interpreted the challenge of dialogue.wordpress-20141